Milling companies on the Copperbelt had recently petitioned the government to allow them to sell roller meal to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) because residents on the Copperbelt were not buying the commodity, preferring breakfast mealie meal.
National Milling Corporation Limited, Antelope Milling and Mpongwe Milling wrote to Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe over the matter saying the COVID-19 pandemic had reduced demand for roller meal because major buyers are breweries that are currently not producing.
However, Mr Mwakalombe said he would encourage citizens to start eating roller meal which is nutritious. Despite this assurance, demand for roller meal has remained low, with Antelope Milling Company Director Jimmy Kaldis revealing that production of mealie meal has gone down because the company has continued to lose maize by-products.
He said over 800 metric tonnes of roller meal has gone bad and no longer safe for human consumption and that the only solution to the problem is government issuing export permits to the millers to export the product to the DRC to avoid further waste.